July 20, 2013- All it took was a night off from his regular home track to send Danny Benedict in search of a different place to race. The 16 year-old from Orono, Ontario loaded his potent #54 Honda Prelude onto the trailer and towed about 20 minutes from the family’s race shop to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway, where the half mile speedplant played host to a special event for the Lucas Oil Pure Stock field.
Even though the track is close to his home base, Benedict needed some extra laps during the afternoon’s warm-up sessions to land on the perfect set-up for the 25 lap main event. There isn’t much that can take the place of seat time when it comes to getting ready for an event on an unfamiliar track and the young driver was able to provide some solid feedback to his father/crew chief and turn-in some strong finishes to be ready for the headline dance.
The talented teen may have started from the pole position, but it was hardly a walk in the park for the Clarke High School student. Current point leader and defending track champion Willy Howells was glued to his back bumper for the entire race distance and a late race yellow flag bunched the field for a restart that almost cost Benedict the win.
“I missed a shift when we came back to green after the caution,” admitted the driver during his winner’s circle interview. “Bringing the pack together gave the fans an exciting finish, but I was worried that I may have blown it by making what would have been a silly mistake.”
As a visiting car for the special event, the Benedict team needed to add extra weight to make the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park requirements and then go through a rigorous post race technical inspection before he was officially declared the race winner. The driver and his father were both confident that their piece would make it through every stage of the process without any issues.
“We checked the track web-site for rules when we first started talking about coming to the show and knew what we’d need to do to make our car race ready,” said Doug Benedict. “Officials asked us to bolt on an extra 15 pounds of lead when we crossed the scales before the show. We actually borrowed a 25 pound ballast from Dan Kimmerly, just to compensate for any weight loss that might have cropped-up from fuel burning off during the race. It’ll be great to add another trophy from a feature win to our collection in the shop.”
Danny Benedict and his team will be back in action Saturday, July 27th at the Peterborough Hyundai Mini Stocks join the Paul Davis Systems Thunder Cars, Vanguard Self Storage Late Models and Ontario Legends for the next show at Peterborough Speedway. For full event details, see www.peterboroughspeedway.com.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media